[Expert car comparison] Toyota Avensis vs. Toyota Sienna

Posted by: Testimony Olajire

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Comparing a large family car and a minivan doesn't sound very reasonable. But if you are looking for a large car, it makes more sense than you might think after you read through this article. Let's go!

It is very interesting to actually compare two cars in different categories from the same brand. There are some people who might be considering going for a car in either category and this might smoothen things out for them a little.

The two cars we are comparing today are big guys in their categories and have been met with remarkable success over their duration of existence:

  • Toyota Avensis is a large family car first manufactured in October 1997 in the United Kingdom and had been in the market till 2018 when it was discontinued. It was initially available as a saloon, a liftback and an estate (station wagon).
  • Toyota Sienna is a minivan manufactured in the United States of America. It was first manufactured in 1997 to replace the 3rd generation Toyota Previa. This vehicle was targeted primarily at the North American market and it was a success; since 2000, Toyota has not recorded less than 80,000 units sold annually.

Based on the fact that these two vehicles are in different categories and targeted different markets, there are bound to be significant differences and as such, advantages and disadvantages.

Without much further ado, let us begin: Toyota Avensis Vs. Toyota Sienna.

For the purpose of this article, we would take the Toyota Avensis 2009 and the Toyota Sienna 2010 as they are very common in Nigeria.


Toyota Avensis 2009



Toyota Sienna 2010

1. Prices in Nigeria

Toyota Avensis 2009 prices in Nigeria

  • Nigerian used: N1.5m – N2.6m
  • Foreign used: N1.7m – N2.8m

Toyota Sienna 2010 price in Nigeria

  • Nigerian used: N1.9m – N5m
  • Foreign used: N2m – N7.5m

So the Sienna is quite more expensive than the Avensis. Now let's see each car has to offer:

2. Grade/trims

Both models introduced various trim levels:

While the Avensis would offer you the choices of Tera, Aura, Strata, and Sol, the Sienna was manufactured with 4 trim levels which are CE, LE, XLE, and Limited.

3. Engine

Toyota Avensis 2009

The Toyota Avensis 2009 provides a wide array of options when it comes to the engines. It allows you to select from 3 petrol and 4 diesel engines. This is one of the reasons why it dominated the European market. The petrol engines included the 1.6 litre, 130hp 1ZR-FAE, the 1.8 litre, 145 hp 2ZR-FAE and the 2.0 litre 150 hp 3ZZR-FAE engine which was specific to the Sol trim level.


The Avensis was discontinued recently

Interestingly, the diesel options were more common in Europe with the 2.2 litre D-4D 150hp engine leading the pack. This engine has a 0-60 mph of 8.8 seconds. One of the most striking feature of the Avensis engine was its very low emissions. Its average of 33mpg is also excellent for a car of its size. The Avensis also launched the use of valvematic engines in the Toyota brand.

Quite impressive. Now let’s see how the Sienna does

Toyota Sienna 2010

The Toyota Sienna 2010 is powered  by a 266 horsepower V6 3.5 Litre engine coupled to a five speed automatic transmission. This combination provides a 0-60 mph of 8 seconds and great fuel economy coming in at 19 mpg for city and highway combined.


Aside from family purposes, buyers choose the Sienna for commercial rides as well

Obviously, the power and speed the Sienna performs is way more than the Avensis but then looking at the size of the car, we are not surprised. Its acceleration is also very impressive.  The Toyota Avensis, however,  is a significantly more fuel economy car than the Sienna. Although we should also say that the Sienna does well for a car in its class.

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4. Safety

Toyota Avensis 2009

The Toyota Avensis is considered one of the safest cars in its category with the equipment of 7 air bags, including one knee airbag for the driver. It received a 5-star rating in the Euro NACP crash test. The car also provides active front headrest as well as brake lamps that would come on in emergency braking. Its vehicle stability steering helps the driver to control the steering more easily. Overall, it is a very safe car.

Toyota Sienna 2010

The Toyota Sienna has excellent safety features. It has the regular full complement of airbags and antilock disc brakes, together with traction and stability control. In crash tests, it also performed very impressively, with the Insurance Institute for Highway safety giving the Sienna a ‘good’ rating.


Stepping into the car, you will be soon impressed by the space it offers

The two cars do well in safety features. They also provide further options for advanced features with of course a little more bucks.  However, the Sienna falls a little below par in its class for safety features.

5. Exterior

Toyota Avensis 2009

The Toyota Avensis takes on a sleek and sporty design which features a wider grille and curved edges. The 2009 model year had become longer but also sturdier and more solid than before. It was redesigned by the Toyota European Design Headquarters and only sedan and wagons were produced. The Terra model comes with 16-inch steel wheels, while the Strata and Luna models come with Alloy wheels.


Both were designed with a liftgate on the rear

Toyota Sienna 2010

The design of the Sienna makes a minivan appealing to the eye. It was able to properly place a sports car into a minivan. It is a 5 door car with a lot of space that allows easy entry and exit at the rear. It has power windows and a rear defroster. Running boards and rear spoilers are optional in some models. The Toyota Sienna is the only All-Wheel drive in its category.


The Toyota Sienna has been always one of the best sellers in the Nigerian market

6. Interior

Toyota Avensis 2009

The interior of the Toyota Avensis is decent. Manual air condition is seen in the Terra and Aura trims. The strata trims offer dual climate control and also the leather steering wheel. As a family size car, there is actually room for a lot of luggage. The saloon has a boot space of 509 litres which is not humble for a car that size. It also has good quality materials although they are not particularly remarkable.


Though a smaller-sized one, the Avensis provides ample space for family needs

Toyota Sienna 2010

The interior of the Sienna is very comfortable. It also has a huge amount of space for passengers and cargo alike. The head space is 42 inches in the first row, 40 inches in the second row and the legroom at the third row is 39 inches.


The interior of the Sienna 2010 looks a bit higher-end

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It can conveniently take 8 passengers; it is the ultimate family car and it drives well on our roads. It is not surprising that it is very popular in Nigeria.


Putting it all together, the Toyota Sienna is very much preferred in Nigeria because of its power and cargo space. It is easily able to move through obstacles and considering that it is an all-wheel drive, nothing can stop it.

However, the fuel economy of the Toyota Avensis is excellent and it would also make a good family size car if you think a Sienna is too large. Also, the Avensis has better handling and easier maneuverability than the Sienna.

So, the choice of Toyota Avensis vs. Toyota Sienna is yours. You have a large family with lots of loads? Think a Sienna. You need a cool ride with good fuel economy? Think an Avensis!

>>> Visit Naijauto.com for the latest updates on car news, Tips,& Advice, Car Prices, Reviews, and Cars for sale in Nigeria!

Testimony Olajire

Testimony Olajire


Testimony Olajire is a witty and innovative content writer with Naijauto.com. He creates top quality educative content on automobiles that readers can both relate with and enjoy. He has a keen interest in understanding what lies under the hood of any car, practical driving and safety tips, automobile history and managing automobile-related businesses; all in the Nigerian context.   

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